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Preaching in Hitler's Shadow
Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich
Dean G. Stroud
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POD; Published: 11/1/2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6902-9
Price: $ 23.50
215 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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A revealing window into Christian opposition inside Nazi Germany

What did German preachers opposed to Hitler say in their Sunday sermons? When proclaiming Christ could cost a pastor his life, what words encouraged and challenged him and his congregation?

Preaching in Hitler's Shadow begins with an extended exploration of preaching inside the Third Reich that enables readers to better understand the danger each pastor confronted every time he went into the pulpit. Dean Stroud pays special attention to the role language played in the battle over the German soul, pointing out the use of Christian rhetoric in opposition to Nazi language.

The second part of the book presents thirteen translated full length sermons by a variety of preachers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and others not as well known. A running commentary on each text offers cultural and historical insights, and each sermon is preceded by a short biography of the preacher.

Read more about the book in a blog post by Stroud and a review by Bob Gaudet on EerdWord.
Review & Expositor
"Powerful and convicting. . . . Stroud is to be commended."
Modern Believing
"The firm strength of the enterprise lies in the sermons themselves and Stroud has done something of great worth in giving them to us."
Currents in Theology & Mission
"Impressive. . . . Readers will not only find powerful examples of gospel proclamation, but will see how the sermon may faithfully confront systems of oppression in the political and social realm."
Allan Boesak
-- author of Dare We Speak of Hope? Searching for a Language of Life in Faith and Politics
"After his thorough and superb presentation of the historical context, Dean Stroud provides captivating examples of biblical preaching and prophetic witness by pastors of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany. He leaves no doubt about the life-threatening crisis the Nazis presented to Germany and the church. Neither is there any doubt about the response of the prophets here brought to life. One is simply stunned by the courage of prophetic faithfulness and by the sheer power of the Word preached in persistent obedience and at enormous risk. Here are voices that cannot be stilled. . . . Preaching in Hitler's Shadow is simply a towering book. It will inform, provoke, unsettle, move, and inspire."
John Wilson
-- editor of Books & Culture
"In these sermons we see (and hear) pastors staying true to their calling, despite the pressures to remain silent or -- far worse -- to praise evil. Dean Stroud, who has gathered these sermons and who situates them for us, is attentive to moral complexity, as is clear in the range of responses represented in the sermons and the diverse fates of the pastors who preached them. At once sobering and inspiring, this book is a treasure."
George Hunsinger
-- editor of Torture Is a Moral Issue
"In this book we see what it is like to proclaim the gospel courageously in the midst of dire political circumstances. The idea that preaching must always avoid being political is exposed for the falsehood that it is. This is a sobering and a heartening book."
Gregory Paul Wegner
-- author of Anti-Semitism and Schooling under the Third Reich
"Stroud's book is a reminder that historians attempting to understand the legacy of Protestantism under the Third Reich would do well to seriously examine the theological underpinnings of these sermons of resistance."
Library Journal (STARRED review)
"Of books relating to the Third Reich there is no end. This book is not typical of the genre; it celebrates the quiet heroism of 11 preachers. . . . The superb editing and introduction by former Presbyterian pastor Stroud set the sermons in context and tell us that some of these brave men died for their convictions. . . . An immense contribution to the literature of Christian witness and should be read by all pastors and serious historians of Christianity."
Christian Century
"In the Hitler era, a small number of German pastors associated with the Confessing Church dared to speak against Nazi rule. Some lost their lives for doing so. . . . Stroud describes the political situation and the prevailing religious attitudes that these pastors courageously engaged. The sermons show the power of good theology, biblical exposition, and practical application."
Christianity Today
"While many German churches caved under Nazi pressure, compromising their doctrines and moral integrity, others courageously held firm. This volume examines sermons from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and other preachers who refused to be intimidated into silence."
"This look at Christian life inside the Third Reich gives readers a real sense of the danger that preachers opposed to Hitler faced every time they went into the pulpit. . . . A running commentary offers cultural and historical insights and each sermon is preceded by a short biography of the preacher."
Church Times
"Dean Stroud provides a masterly introduction to the historical background to this selection of 12 sermons, illustrative of the Christian counter-attack on the key fascist heresies. . . . Each one is prefaced by a short biographical note, and given its context in the life of the Church."
Theological Book Review
"Offers a unique look at Christian opposition to Hitler through the medium of sermons that were `preached in Hitler's shadow.' . . . Helpful for students, pastors, and anyone seeking a concise introduction to the so-called Church Struggle in Nazi Germany and the ambiguous legacy of Christian resistance."
Theology Today
"Preaching in Hitler's Shadow will appeal to pastors, students, and scholars interested in the history of the Confessing Church as well as anyone interested in prophetic and doctrinal preaching."